By Sarah Allen
Summer is a time of traditions, from catching fireflies to grilling with family and friends. But in Hillsboro, one tradition has less to do with the outdoors, and more to do with paint strokes and brushes.
Nearing its 60th anniversary, The Brush and Palette Art Guild’s annual show highlights the work of the guild’s professional members — those who make part of their income from their artwork — and non-professional members.
According to Deanna Flinn, a non-professional, the professional members are “very giving” and “try to nurture the group.”
“We really are proud of our professionals,” Flinn said, citing artist Connie Barrett as one who has found success. Barrett was recognized last year with a letter of tribute from the 130th General Assembly of Ohio.
The letter honored her performance at the Foothills Art Festival, where she earned first place in the watercolor category for her piece “Leaving the Swamp.”
The Brush and Palette Art Guild’s show includes awards for best of show, reserve best of show and best of division. The awards are divided into professional and non-professional categories.
Other recognitions include: the Violet Linton Award, in honor of the guild’s founder; the Julia Barthel Award, in remembrance of a member who was killed in an accident; and the People’s Choice Award.
The Violet Linton Award recognizes a non-professional artist for a landscape, and the Julia Bartel Award is given to a professional artist for a watercolor floral piece.
The show also includes a silent auction, with pieces donated by artists. Also sold are artist trading cards, which feature samples of the artists’ works.
The show is supported by numerous local sponsors, Flinn said.
At the center of every show are the many and varied talents of the guild’s members, and each year offers a new and unique experience for those who stroll among the numerous pieces.
The Brush and Palette Art Guild began in 1957 with Linton teaching oil painting to eight students. Two years later, the first show was held in the Fairfield High School gymnasium in Leesburg, and since then, the guild “just grew and grew,” Flinn said.
In 1997, the show moved to the central campus of Southern State Community College in Hillsboro. The guild now has more than 60 artists, representing much of southwest Ohio, including Highland, Clinton, Fayette, Adams, Brown and Clermont counties.
Carin and Robert Hebenstreit, who both teach art classes, were the judges during last year’s show. Robert Hebenstreit paints landscapes, still life, and the figure, according to 2015 show material. Carin Hebenstreit is a portrait painter.
As they examined each piece submitted in last year’s show, they offered both praise and constructive criticism. They considered composition, color and presence.
“Does it jump out at you?” they asked.
“Some paintings are done very well but don’t have anything to say,” Carin Hebenstreit said.
Cecile Baird, one of the guild’s professional members, and winner of multiple awards during last year’s show, described the excitement that comes with art.
“It’s constantly a challenge,” she said.
Baird won the professional best in show, a professional best of division award, first place for the 2015 theme of “Reflections,” and the People’s Choice Award for her colored pencil drawing “Nautilus Reflections.”
Baird said that she is “so proud to be a part of (the guild).”
And just as each member of the guild has a different style, so do they also have different stories to share.
This year’s Brush and Palette Art Guild show will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, at the central campus of Southern State Community College in Hillsboro.
The theme is “Shadows in Sunlight,” with both professional and non-professional artists being judged in that category. Richard Luschek II, a painter from the Cincinnati area, will judge this year’s show.